following-up-lost business-opportunities

Following up lost business opportunities

In any service or sales business, there will be lost opportunities. The types of customer interactions, which have resulted in a potential client walking out the door, rather than purchasing from the business.

Understanding what prompted a prospect to say no instead of yes offers valuable insight for any business, but how exactly can that be done?

The cost of lost opportunities

The true cost of lost opportunities can be hard to define. After all, how do you know what a customer would have spent, if only they had the chance?

However, in 2019, global payments provider Adyen looked at just the Australian retail sector alone and determined the collective industry was losing $71 billion in lost opportunities, with out of stocks, long queues, and lack of payment options among the top reasons customers opted out of a sale.

How did they know this? They surveyed customers, asking about the main reasons they abandoned a transaction.

And according to experts, that’s something every business should do in order to understand where they have the potential to improve.

Feedback on lost opportunities

One way of identifying lost opportunities is to target both existing and potential clients for feedback about your business in the moment they are making a purchasing decision.

This is something that often plays out well in the online arena, but has traditionally been more challenging to embrace in the real world.

So for example, if a cart is abandoned online, the website will often follow up with prompt seeking feedback about why the sale did not proceed.

In the real-world gaining feedback from potential customers has traditionally been harder, because their details are unlikely to be in your system.

Now, however, that type of insight is possible with tools such as simple kiosks that seek to understand the customer experience.

For example, you might position this kiosk at a store exit, with simple questions about the customer experience that channel feedback into two different paths – those who purchased something and those who did not.

Feedback on lost opportunities

In the first case you are looking to determine how easy it was it make a purchase, whether they were satisfied with the service, product selection etc.

In the second, you are looking to determine what stopped them making a transaction…was it time spent in the queue, that the store didn’t have the item they were looking for etc.

In the moment is key

Finding out why someone didn’t proceed with a transaction in the moment they are instore or at your business is key.

Why? Because if they haven’t purchased something, chances are they are not an existing customer whose details you have, and you have no way of knowing exactly what went wrong.

That’s where quick simple kiosks come into their own for providing accurate insight into lost opportunity.

But once you’ve sought feedback, what happens next?

Lost opportunity follow-up

Once you have feedback from the customer as to why they decided against doing business with you, it’s time to follow up.

That means identifying common themes and working out what could have been done differently.

In some cases, there will be little you could have done. Your business simply didn’t offer the service or products they were seeking, nor would that service or product suit your business model.

On many other occasions, however, this feedback will provide valuable insight into areas for improvement, such as customer service, product range, price point, or staff interaction.

The bottom line

Lost opportunity follow-up

Identifying lost opportunities with customers who have chosen not to engage with your business is just as important as understanding how your current customers feel about the service and products you offer.

But too often businesses fail to actively seek to understand why they might be missing out on a business opportunity.

For more information about feedback terminals that can help you identify lost opportunities, see here.